Sunday, June 26, 2016

Literacy – Spanning the US: York Co PA :: Everett WA :: Manitowoc WI :: Florence AL :: Madison Co MS

Prison program lets inmate moms send their voices "Beyond Our Walls"
York Daily Record/Sunday News: 5.25.2016 by Rick Lee

In York County Prison for six to 23 months on a probation violation for a retail theft conviction, Stephanie Schymansky misses her two young sons.

But on Wednesday, the 29-year-old from Hanover was laughing and smiling after her reading of the children's book, "The Three Little Wolves and the Big, Bad Pig," was recorded so it can be sent to her children.  Schymansky is one of 23 female prison inmates so far to take advantage of the "Beyond Our Walls" program that is geared toward promoting children's literacy, rehabilitating inmates and helping to maintain family unity by bridging the emotional gap created by a parent being in prison.

York County County Commissioner Doug Hoke, who also is president of the York County Prison Board, introduced the program to the public on Wednesday.

He said the program "is to help inmates stay connected with their families, reduce crime and promote literacy."

Children's books for the inmate mothers to read and record are provided by the library, Conway said. She said there also are children's books in Spanish and picture books for inmates with reading difficulties to create their own story for their child.

The program is a joint initiative between the prison and the York County Library System with support from the Rotary Club of York Literacy Committee and Glatfelter Insurance Group.  READ MORE @

Providing the power of literacy; volunteers sought for EvCC program
Herald Net: 5.25.2016 by Julie Muhlstein

Curt Smith, a volunteer with EvCC's Literacy Program, shares in a lighter moment while tutoring Sepideh Khazeei on Tuesday in Rainier Hall on the campus of Everett Community College.

Sepideh Khazeei was hard at work on a writing assignment. She had no problem with the essay topic, “Someone I would like to meet.” She chose an Iranian movie star. The trouble was, she couldn't write it in Farsi, her native language.

The young Everett woman came here from Iran three years ago. Now taking an English as a second language class at Everett Community College, Khazeei is on her way to becoming a fluent English speaker.

“For me, the writing is hard,” she said Tuesday. She was in the right place to get help in finishing that assignment by today's deadline.

Curt Smith, a volunteer tutor, was at her side at a table in EvCC's Rainier Hall. The 80-year-old Mukilteo man devotes several hours twice each week to helping students through the college's Volunteer Literacy Program.  READ MORE @

Manitowoc adult literacy participants honored
Herald Times Reporter: 5.25.2016 by Julia Poe

Participants in Manitowoc Public Library's One-to-One Adult Literacy Partners program were honored at a May 12 event.

The event looked back at last year’s accomplishments for adults who participated in the program, which focuses on goal-oriented literacy tutoring to aid locals in their reading, writing and speaking skills.

Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and their needs for the program are equally diverse. Some use the program to become American citizens or to improve their possibilities for future employment. Others hope to be able to help their children with their homework. Regardless, the program pairs each participant with a tutor who can help them reach their goals.

The library recognized three participants in the program for their accomplishments in 2015. Learner Awards of Merit and Senate of the State of Wisconsin Citations for Outstanding Service were awarded to Luz White, Lee Vang and Der Thao. State Sen. Devin LeMahieu presented the awards.  VIDEO

Local Reading Aides center joins with ECM offering stroke support group
Times Daily: 5.30.2016 by Lisa Singleton-Rickman

When Doug Smith had a stroke 10 years ago at the age of 45, he expected the road to recovery to be long. And he was right.

In active recovery the past eight years, Smith has worked hard to regain what was lost. The stroke in the base of his brain affected one eye, his arm, a leg and his speech.

A lifelong avid reader, the stroke also hampered his ability to read.

With years of rehabilitation ahead of him, Smith decided his first step was a good attitude.

"I worked really hard and just knew I'd get better," he said.

From a wheelchair he progressed to a walker, then a cane. Today, Smith walks on his own with about 70 percent usage of the affected leg.

His eye has improved, and although he has limited use of his arm, he has made vast gains with his speech and reading.

"Reading is just really important to me, and I had to start from the beginning, with the ABC's," Smith said.

Eight years ago he signed up for reading tutorial classes with the Northwest Alabama Reading Aides in Florence. "It was one of the best things I ever did for myself."  READ MORE @

Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty (MadCAAP).

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